Friday, January 13, 2012

Review of This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Harcourt Children's Books
This World We Live In
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
4 Scribbles

Imagine the last time you were grounded. Perhaps you weren’t allowed to go anywhere and were stuck inside with your parents and siblings. Maybe you were grounded from technology—no TV, no WiFi, no cell phone, no iPod, not even radio—the ultimate torture for misdeeds. Required to endure the company of family for three whole days, bored out of your mind and forced to read books, and not even Ebooks, but books on paper pages, you swore off misbehavior forever. Now, imagine those same circumstances combined, toss in no electricity and not enough food, and that is the world that the protagonists in this novel endure. Pfeffer forces characters from book one and book two in the Last Survivors series to come together into one household. The novel is again told through the voice of Miranda from the first book, and her diary pulls the reader back into what life is like a year after the moon is thrown off orbit. Miranda reveals towns devoid of life, rogue bands of individuals drifting around the country in search of food, startling acts of violence, and as Miranda discovers, special elite "safe towns" that are set up by the government through ruthless tactics I cannot imagine our government using. Tension mounts as the reader wonders, will Miranda and her new, blended family be able to tolerate living with one another in the same, cramped house? New relationships and alliances inevitably form, but will Miranda and her new family continue to survive in their small town, or will they be forced to move on like so many others desperate and in search of food? With suspense-laced pages, and nail-biting natural disasters, book three is no disappointment. What remains to be seen is if Pfeffer will indulge readers in a fourth book, and reveal the secrets being held in these freshly introduced "safe towns."

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